HEALTH AND SAFETY GENERAL STANDARDS

Policy statement

Little Rockets believes that the health and safety of children is of paramount importance.  We make our setting a safe and healthy place for children, parents, staff, visitors and volunteers.

    We aim to make children, parents and staff aware of health and safety issues, and to minimise the hazards and risks to enable the children to thrive in a healthy and safe environment.
    Our member of staff responsible for health and safety is: Amanda Saunders or her Deputy in her absence.
    She is competent to carry out these responsibilities.
    She has previously undertaken health and safety training and regularly updates her knowledge and understanding.
    We display the necessary health and safety poster in the main room.

Insurance cover


We have public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance.  The certificate for public liability insurance is displayed in the entrance hall.

Procedures

Awareness raising

    Our induction training for staff and volunteers includes a clear explanation of health and safety issues, so that all adults are able to adhere to our policy and procedures as they understand their shared responsibility for health and safety.  The induction training covers matters of employee well-being and the storage of potentially dangerous substances.

    Records are kept of these induction training sessions, and new staff and volunteers are asked to sign the records to confirm that they have taken part and understood the training given.

    Health and safety issues are explained to the parents of new children, so that they understand the part played by these issues in the daily life of the setting.

    As necessary, health and safety training is included in the annual training plans of the staff, and health and safety training is discussed regularly at staff meetings.
    We operate a no smoking policy.
    Children are made aware of health and safety issues through discussions, planned activities and routines.
    Daily checks are carried out.

Safety of adults

    Adults are provided with guidance about the safe storage, movement, lifting and erection of large pieces of equipment.
    All warning signs are clear and in appropriate languages.
    Adults do not remain in the building on their own or leave on their own after dark.
    The sickness of staff and their involvement in accidents is recorded.  The records are reviewed termly to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
    We keep a record of all substances that may be hazardous to health – such as cleaning chemicals.  This states what the risks are and what to do if they have contact with eyes or skin or are ingested.  It also states where they are stored.  
    We keep all cleaning chemicals in their original containers.

Windows

    Low level windows are made from materials that prevent accidental breakage, or are made safe or are made inaccessible.
    Windows are protected from accidental breakage or vandalism from people outside the building.

Doors

    We take precautions to prevent children’s fingers from being trapped in doors.

Floors

    All floor surfaces are checked daily to ensure that they are clean and not uneven, wet or damaged.

Electrical/gas equipment

    All electrical/gas equipment conforms to safety requirements and is checked regularly.

    Our boiler/electrical switch gear/meter cupboard is not accessible to the children.
    Fires, heaters, electric sockets, wires and leads are properly guarded and children are taught not to touch them.
    There are sufficient sockets to prevent overloading.
    The temperature of hot water is controlled to prevent scalds.
    Lighting and ventilation is adequate in all areas including storage areas.

Storage

    All resources and materials from which children select are stored safely.
    All equipment and resources are stored or stacked safely to prevent them accidently falling or collapsing.

Outdoor area

    Our outdoor area is securely fenced.
    Our outdoor area is checked for safety and cleared of rubbish before it is used.
    Adults and children are alerted to the dangers of poisonous plants, herbicides and pesticides.
    Where water can form a pool on equipment, it is emptied before children start playing near it.
    All outdoor activities are supervised at all times.

Hygiene

    We regularly seek information from the Environmental Health Department and the Health Authority to ensure that we keep up-to-date with the latest recommendations.
    Our daily routines encourage the children to learn about personal hygiene.
    We have a daily cleaning routine for the setting which includes the play room, kitchen, rest area, toilet and nappy changing areas.
    We have a schedule for cleaning resources and equipment, dressing-up clothes and furnishings.
    The toilet areas have a high standard of hygiene, including hand washing and drying facilities and the disposal of nappies.


We implement good hygiene practices by:

1.    Cleaning tables between activities,
2.    Reporting issues regarding the toilet areas,
3.    Wearing protective clothing – such as aprons and disposable gloves – as appropriate,
4.    Providing sets of clean clothes, and
5.    Providing tissues and wipes.


Activities and resources

    Before purchase or loan, equipment and resources are checked to ensure that they are safe for the ages and stages of the children currently attending the setting.
    The layout of play equipment allows adults and children to move safely and freely between activities.
    All equipment is regularly checked for cleanliness and safety, and any dangerous items are repaired or discarded.
    All materials, including paint and glue, are non-toxic.
    Sand is clean and suitable for children’s play.
    Physical play is constantly supervised.
    Children are taught to handle and store tools safely.
    Children who are sleeping are checked regularly.
    Children learn about health, safety and personal hygiene through the activities we provide and the routines we follow.
    Any faulty equipment is removed from use and is repaired.  If it cannot be repaired, it is discarded.
    Large pieces of equipment are discarded only with the consent of the Manager.

Legal framework

    Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).
    Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 1992.
    Electricity at Work Regulations, 1989.
    Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) (2002).
    Manual Handling Operations Regulations, 1992 (as amended).
    Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations, 1992.